A note from Amma

A note from Amma

The Palimpsest House

This small castle-like house, located on the banks of the River Vaigai in Kochadai, Madurai, is a site to behold among the surrounding bushes and untouched nature. It blends well with the greenery around it. An entry courtyard serves as a transition from outdoor to indoor. With peacocks frequently visiting this courtyard, the foyer is designed with multicolored round granite plates, which were waste cutouts from the granite monument unit the architect owns. These plates reflect the peacocks amidst a lawn and a lotus pond, seating a Lord Murugan statue that was discovered while scouting for other building materials in an antique shop by chance but seemed to be a fitting place, as the peacock is the vahana or carrying vehicle for the Tamil kadavul. The patio from the bedroom opens into this space, and many times, the peacocks' chirp serves as the morning alarm.


While the house terrain was deep from the road, the site was carefully filled up to create a gradient leading into a sunken garden—a beautiful sight from the back patio and car shed with a rough stone ramp leading to it. A side entrance to the house also has a balcony serving as a landing space and features a pair of peacocks built with stucco art to blend with the garden, adding to the house's beauty. A castle-shaped tower was built to house the staircase and also functions as a watchtower overlooking the river, offering an unobstructed view of the city with the river in all its opulence. The central courtyard, adorned with fish tanks, adds to the grandeur and allows the moon and sun to naturally illuminate the space. A thoughtful placement of a Tulsi plant near the Puja room adds to the divinity and openness of the courtyard. In totality, it is a miniature castle, and the carefully curated artifacts make it a must-visit place to experience the fusion of modern house architecture and old-age homes that promote an entire ecosystem to develop, with many holes in the compound hosting a variety of birds, insects, and offering an interesting opportunity to observe the behavior of rare birds from the comfort of a home!


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